The Rabbits by John Marsden (Author), Shaun Tan (Illustrator)
I have seen many reviews on this children’s storybook and I really have to say, before I get into this review that I am unimpressed. People, do your research before you write a review. The Rabbits is an allegory, representing the arrival of the Europeans in Australia and how they took over the land and caused destruction left, right and centre.
The Rabbits is a masterpiece. Beautiful artwork to tell a terrible tale. The rabbits, being a well-known pest in Australia, represent the Europeans as they take over Australia.
The main controversy surrounding The Rabbits, is that it is a picture book, therefore it must be for children, right? Wrong, anyone can read a picture book. But, not everyone can understand it. Which is evident in a lot of the reviews on Goodreads. People read the book but don’t understand the message the story presents, you don’t understand the story of what really happened when the Rabbits arrived.
This story was written and illustrated for older readers. It depends on the person, if you’re too thick, you’re too thick. A young child may get a lot out of this story and a grown adult may be left wondering why you would read this to a child. The story parallels with the history of the colonisation in Australia.
Yes, this book is confronting. Yes, it might be hard to read. But, it tells the story of what really happened, and is a must read for everyone, thick or not.